Â“We are extremely pleased with the companyÂ’s financial performance over the past year,Â” said Dickerson.
Â“Strong growth in shareholdersÂ’ equity, while maintaining robust interest and dividend payments and reasonable customer rates, has been the long term trend at Veridian.
Additionally, the companyÂ’s reliability indices are competitive when compared to other electric utilities in Ontario, and an annual improvement measured against historical results remain a key business goal.Â”
Highlights from VeridianÂ’s 2013 financial results include:
Â• A total of $8.2 million in interest and dividend payments to shareholders Â• Electricity distribution revenues, excluding smart meter activities, have increased $3.8 million to $49.0 million from 2009
Â• Shareholder equity has increased $12.6 million since 2011, or by six percent, which is double the growth rate from 2009 to 2011
Â• The Board of Directors has approved a dividend policy for the years 2012 to 2016 with base dividends of $4.7 million each year, subject to certain provisions
Adding to VeridianÂ’s financial results, Angemeer reported that the company recorded exceptional operational performance in a number of key areas in 2013.
Â“Our employees continue to be industry leaders when it comes to customer service and workplace safety Â– recording a 93 percent customer satisfaction rating and working more than 400,000 hours without a lost- time injury,Â” he noted. Â“These are outstanding achievements that show the dedication and commitment to performance excellence among our employees.Â”
Angemeer also pointed out the recognition the company received in 2013. Â“We were thrilled to be named one of CanadaÂ’s Greenest Employers for a fourth consecutive yearÂ–a designation that recognizes our leadership in creating a culture of environmental awareness in our workplace, and honoured to have received the Smart Commute WorkplaceÂ–Silver designation for our efforts in providing enhanced commuter options for our employees and promoting sustainable transportation.Â” What might be remembered most about 2013 is the severe thunderstorm that ripped through Gravenhurst in mid-July and the ice storm that hit southern Ontario in late December.
Both Dickerson and Angemeer applauded the efforts and dedication shown by employees, other assisting utilities and contractors during both storms, as they worked long days, in difficult conditions and sacrificed precious time with their families to support the companyÂ’s power restoration and customer communications efforts.
Â“The storm relief work and support by staff was truly inspiring, and a reminder of what makes Veridian such a great place to work and a valuable community asset,Â” said Angemeer.
The theme of VeridianÂ’s 2013 Annual Report is Â“Delivering Peace of MindÂ”. Customers and stakeholoders can be assured that many recommendations flowing from stakeholder engagements as a result of the ice storm have been or will be implemented. Â“Whether its restoring 80 percent of a large feeder outage in less than five minutes with distribution automation controlled by operators in our 24/7 control centre or responding better to a prolonged natural disaster with multiple outages, we commit to getting the power back on faster and improving communication with our customersÂ”, said Angemeer.
Dickerson and Angemeer are optimistic about the business opportunities that lie ahead for Veridian, and remain committed to its strategic objectives of growth and improvement in its core distribution business, financial strength and solid returns, providing excellent customer service and reliability, and ensuring an engaging and safe workplace for its employees.
Both agree that Veridian has the people, plans, partnerships and strategic investments that are building stronger, more resilient communities.
Â“Through the leadership of its Boards of Directors, shareholder communities and executive management team, Veridian is well positioned to continue its track record of strong financial performance and operational excellence,Â” said Dickerson.
A copy of VeridianÂ’s 2013 annual report is available at: www.veridiancorporation.ca.